Alcoholism and addiction are progressive disease, and unless the user stops completely,the disease will always worsen in severity overtime.The intensity of this progression varies considerably, and while some people may drink or drug for many years before things get noticeably worse,they ultimately always do.
Unfortunately, some people,especially those people with dual diagnosis challenges,may find that their addiction or alcoholism can progress quickly, and the devastation of the disease can mount month by month or week by week.
So why does this matter?
The implications of a progressive disease are threefold,and influence diagnosis,treatment, and recovery
There is no single medical test that can distinguish with absolute certainty the differentiation between drug or alcohol abuse and drug or alcohol addiction.There are diagnostic tools, and a skilled clinician can make a fairly accurate diagnosis,but since you can’t see it on a x-ray and it doesn’t show up in a blood test,many addicts and alcoholics may continue to deny the existence of their disease.And since denial is such a hallmark of the condition, and this denial often delays needed treatment for too long;this lack of a clear and definitive testing procedure for the disease is unfortunate.
Addiction and alcoholism are progressive.Use behaviours and symptoms will over time always intensify,andthe problem always grows worse.People without addiction do not tend to show this progressive worsening in consumption patterns-people with addiction do.Although the progression of the disease is unfortunate,it does clearly a” disease”,it does at least allow for an accurate and firm diagnosis of the problem, and hopefully compels a denying addict or alcoholic to accept this diagnosis, and get help.
If the drinking or drug use has increased overtime, this indicates an addiction.
If the consequences of the drinking or drug use have escalated overtime, this indicates an addiction.